I bought a FF Creator Pro about a month and a half ago. Am having a blast printing things and learning things.

Just wanting to know what are some of the things I should be doing to make sure the printer keeps working well. Tighten screws in certain places? Oil and lubricate things? Stuff like that would be helpful to know. Thanks, Jim

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Occasionally use white grease to lubricate your printer.

Every 100 hours tighten everything, screws and cables.

For future maintenance order additional PTFE liner, extra stepper cables, and extra endstops. (you may have gotten extras with your printer, look at them and understand what they are.

The PTFE degrades over time. It is a consumable part. The stepper cables and endstop cables will fail as a result of continous repetetive movement over time, eventually breaking the wires. This will also happen with your heater wires and your thermocouplers, so if you want to spend the money to have extras there, its not a bad idea.

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A microswiss hot end is great, and gives you the ability to print in much higher temperature material than what you can print with on a standard FF extruder. (standard FF has an internal PTFE liner in the extruder, and it degrades above 230)

However, depending on what you print, and how, an all metal hot end can also drive you crazy because it can introduce issues you may have never had before.

So, I always recommend doing the all metal hot end swap after you are VERY experienced, and then only on 1 extruder until you get good with it.

I have had clogs with Microswiss and PLA, that I just can’t resolve. I however print PET and Nylon which would not be doable on my standard FF extruder. So I have all metal on one and standard on the other extruder.

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I didn’t see it mentioned in the other answers, but the nozzles are also a consumable part, as they degrade over time, just like the PTFE liners. The softer metals, like brass, wear out before the much more expensive ones like tungsten, for example. What you have to weigh there is the cost of the time for you to change it more frequently vs. the cost of the nozzle itself. It may be cheaper to get a bag full of inexpensive nozzles that work just as well for a shorter period of time per nozzle that when added together outlasts a single nozzle that works well for longer. It also matters as to the type of material you are printing and how abrasive it is.

There are at least two degradation failure modes of nozzles – one is from material getting built up over time inside the nozzle effectively reducing the amount of material extruded. Sometimes this can be cleaned out. Other times its difficult and not worth the hassle or maybe even impossible to clean. The other failure mode is enlarging and/or deformation of the opening of the nozzle. This can be from extruding abrasive materials or it can be from the heat that it’s running at when printing.

It never hurts to have some spares on-hand and you can even experiment with different nozzle aperture sizes.

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I’ve had mine for several months now and so far the only things I maintain are the print surface and the print heads. I use my print removal tool to clean the print bed and a brass wire brush to clean the nozzles (while the heads are hot).

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I would recommend purchasing some dyna-purge filament to keep your extruder clean especially when changing between filament types: http://www.3dfuel.com/dyna-purge/. The nozzles for all my printers have lasted longer after I started using the filament sticks in between roll changes and the nozzle clogs are far less than what I use to get before using them.

To have the Teflon tubes last longer I also recommend to never retract your filament to remove it but to cut the old and feed the new in to push out the old. This way if you have a clog forming it can be pushed out rather then get stuck in the Teflon tube and ruin it.

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Hi,

I use Singer Multipurpose oil for smooth rods and lead screws and remove the extruder stepper assembly once and a while to poke a guitar string through the nozzle hole while machine is heated up to 220C to 230C. Just poke the guitar string until it come out of the top part of the heater block and pull it out slowly up until the whole string is out the upward end. I have had mine for a year now and rarely get clogs. And most importantly is to clean the chamber and make sure it is free of any dust and debris.

Hope this helps.

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I was doing this method since it seemed so easy until I went from a blue to a yellow and I got tinted yellow for ever. It was like some filament just wouldn’t come out. I need to check out the cleaning filament though.

Where is the best place to purchase replacement parts?

unclechucks3dprinterstuff.com in the US.

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Depending on the loaded filament you would need to purge, you may need to use a additional stick or two of the cleaning filament if you decide to get some. I have some black biome3d filament from 3dfuel that prints great but because of its silky texture it usually takes a stick and a half to completely purge whereas the rest of the PLA and ABS filaments I have only use half a stick of the cleaning filament to get the old filament out.

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Depends on the printer. If you are looking for flashforge replacement parts, monoprice.com has reasonable prices for machines that are or are similar to flashforges.

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I’ve had my FFCP for about a month now and had the same question as Jim. Thanks everyone for all the advice!

Stripping down the extruded to clean the filament drive gear is also important. Keep an eye on your heating block tape. I keep a pair of them on hand because FlashForge is out of it a lot.

I also recommend switching over to an all metal hot end. A company called Micro Swiss makes it. Also a glass bed is better. I think I got mine from Makersome.

Good luck!

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I have had clogs with Microswiss and PLA, that I just can’t resolve. I however print PET and Nylon which would not be doable on my standard FF extruder.

PLA clogs with Micros Swiss all metals is likely due to heat creep.
Most common reason is retraction distance and/or speed to high.

I run about 0.8mm distance and 40mm/s.